Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 1346–1353 | Cite as

Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening in Foreign-Born Chinese-American Women: Does Racial/Ethnic and Language Concordance Matter?

  • Karen Kim
  • Michal Quinn
  • Helen Lam


Chinese Americans are one of the fastest-growing and largest Asian-American subgroups. Approximately 70% of Chinese Americans are immigrants with 46% being of limited English proficiency. Despite colorectal cancer (CRC) being the second leading cause of cancer death in Chinese Americans, Chinese Americans have lower CRC screening rates than other Asian subgroups, and only 40% of CRC cases among Chinese Americans are diagnosed early. Furthermore, CRC is the second most common cancer among Chinese American women. Race/ethnicity concordant providers may process culturally specific knowledge, skills, and experience that may facilitate better communication. Although using an interpreter can help to overcome language barriers between providers and patients, it may not achieve the same level of communication as a language concordant provider. The purpose of this study was to test a community education intervention, taking into account the racial/ethnic and language concordance of the presenter, to increase CRC screening uptake among foreign-born Chinese American women. This study used a quasi-experimental design and a convenience sample of 198 foreign-born Chinese-American women. Logistic regression was used to examine the effect of racial/ethnic and language concordance of the presenter on the return of completed FOBT kits for testing. The Chinese/English-speaking presenter had the highest return rate (73%), followed by the White/English-speaking presenter (61%), and the Chinese/Chinese-speaking presenter (48%), and the differences were statistically significant. Post-education intention to screen was also a significant predictor for returning the FOBT kit for testing. The use of an interpreter did not decrease the effectiveness of the educational intervention.


Asian Americans Colorectal cancer screening Racial/ethnic concordance Language concordance Community education 



The study was funded by the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine and Research Retirement Foundation. We thank Chinese American Services League for their collaboration, their recruitment of participants, and their assistance with the education sessions. We thank all participants for their time and sharing personal information about their health and well-being.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

Karen Kim, Michael Quinn, and Helen Lam declare that they have no competing interest.

Informed Consent

This study was approved by the University of Chicago Institutional Review Board. All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all participants for being included in the study.

Supplementary material

40615_2018_484_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineThe University of Chicago MedicineChicagoUSA

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